Kantian Ethics Vs. Utilitarianism Essay

1439 Words Nov 4th, 2015 6 Pages
Steven Liu
Dr. Slote
PHI 330
11/02/15
Kantian Ethics Vs. Utilitarianism As human beings it is inevitable that we make decisions everyday, whether it be as simple as holding a door open for a stranger or as heroic as pulling someone out of a burning car; we all have our own motives that cause us to commit such actions. Most people have their own moral ethical guidelines that help guide them in making their decisions. Many follow or loosely follow the principals of Utilitarianism, which guidelines state that ethical decisions are measured by the actions’ consequences and the amount of human happiness the act creates. However not all will agree that our decisions should be guided by the consequences of our actions alone, or even at all. Immanuel Kant - who was a deontologist - supported the idea that rather than our actions being guided by the consequences that they produce, our actions should instead be only guided by our own “practical reasons,” which demands that one act out of respect for “the universal moral law.” In other words, Kant states that we should follow universal guidelines to do to others on what you would want them to do to you. Kantian ethics is considered to be "deontological" in that it holds that an action is "right" in and of itself without appeal to consequences. Kant believed that the only pure good that we should consider in our decision-making is human reason, which should be without…

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